Election updates: Mixed results for Trump-backed candidates in GOP primaries
Written by Lucky Wilson | KGTO Writer on May 18, 2022
(WASHINGTON) — Voters were heading to the polls Tuesday for primary elections in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho and Oregon amid a midterm season that will test the endorsement power of both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
While Trump wasn’t successful across the board, at least 22 of his 25 endorsed candidates for Senate, House and governor (mostly in noncompetitive races) won Tuesday night, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Here is how the news developed Tuesday. All times Eastern:
May 18, 12:12 am
Pennsylvania Senate primary too close to call between Oz, McCormick
As the Pennsylvania Republican Senate race tightens, David McCormick and Dr. Mehmet Oz both appeared to thank supporters at their respective election night parties but said their race would not be called Tuesday because of outstanding votes, errors on some mail-in ballots — and, experts note, a split electorate.
“We’re not going to have a resolution tonight, but we can see the path ahead,” said McCormick, the former hedge fund owner whose wife worked in the Trump administration. “We can see victory ahead, and that’s all because of you.”
Oz, speaking minutes after McCormick, thanked former President Donald Trump for his endorsement and then, Fox News host Sean Hannity for his “behind-the-scenes” advice.
“We’re not going to have a result tonight,” Oz told supporters. “When all the votes are tallied, I am confident we will win.”
Within the past couple of weeks, far-right conservative commentator Kathy Barnette, who marched at Trump’s rally on Jan. 6, saw a surge in support in the race. Though she trailed behind on election night, her presence in the race appeared to split votes among Trump’s MAGA base and away from Oz.
May 18, 12:03 am
Gisele Fetterman speaks with ABC News about husband’s projected win, health scare
Gisele Fetterman, wife of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, spoke with ABC News’ Linsey Davis after her husband’s projected win in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Fetterman suffered a stroke just five days ago and underwent surgery on Election Day to get a pacemaker and defibrillator.
“It’s been a long road here and we’re grateful to celebrate together very soon,” she told Davis from an election night party in Pittsburgh. She said Tuesday’s surgery was “very successful” and that her husband is “well on his way to a full recovery.”
Gisele Fetterman also spoke about the role Pennsylvania will play in national politics this midterm election cycle. The state was the center of former President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results after Joe Biden flipped the state from red to blue. Democrats see the race as their best shot to pick up a seat in the chamber from retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
“This is the city that can decide everything,” she said. “So it’s why it’s going to be the most watched seat in the country. And it’s critical to make this seat a blue seat.”
May 17, 11:50 pm
Bo Hines projected to win in North Carolina GOP House primary
In North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, ABC News projects Bo Hines will win the Republican House primary.
Hines’ win is a victory for former President Donald Trump, who is testing his endorsement power in several races this midterms season. Trump also endorsed incumbent Rep. Madison Cawthorn in another North Carolina House race — but Cawthorn conceded his loss earlier Tuesday and threw his support behind Republican State Sen. Chuck Edwards.
Hines is running in an area he has no connection to and does not live in, and many people have criticized him for using this campaign to launch his political career. His campaign finance disclosure shows that only six people from North Carolina donated money to him in the first quarter, and those same six people do not live in the district he is trying to represent.
The 26-year-old is a former college football star who played for the North Carolina State Wolfpack and Yale Bulldogs. He has said his ultimate goal is to become president.
May 17, 11:12 pm
Last polls close in Idaho, Oregon
All polls are now closed in Tuesday’s primary elections.
In Idaho, there will be a showdown between incumbent Gov. Brad Little and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Little and McGeachin have clashed over coronavirus protocols during their administration, with McGeachin once issuing an executive order to “fix” statewide rules while Little was out of town.
In Oregon, term-limited Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s unpopularity could open the door for Republicans to hold the governorship for the first time in more than three decades. There are 19 Republicans running for the party’s nomination on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden’s influence will be put to the test in Oregon, where Rep. Kurt Schrader is facing a challenge from progressive Jamie McLeod-Skinner in a redrawn district. Biden threw his support behind Schrader a few weeks ago, marking his first endorsement of the 2022 election season.
Returns are still coming in from Kentucky, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, with the winners of several key races already projected by ABC News.
May 17, 10:56 pm
Rep. Madison Cawthorn concedes to Chuck Edwards in North Carolina
Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s wild freshman year appears to have caught up with him.
ABC News has learned that Cawthorn has just conceded the race in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District — a seat he won in 2020 at the age of 25, making him the youngest person in the 117th Congress.
State Sen. Chuck Edwards, one of seven Republicans challenging Cawthorn for the nomination, declared victory in a statement on Tuesday night. ABC News has yet to project a winner in the race, but early returns showed Edwards ahead of the pack.
“This is simply incredible,” Edwards said. “Against all odds, we fought hard to win this election and provide clear conservative leadership for the mountains. I am so grateful for the support I received and am forever indebted to the hardworking people of this district who made this victory possible. Now, we will harness this energy, come together as a party, and keep this seat in Republican hands in November. My campaign has been about staying true to mountain values and delivering real results for Western North Carolina, and that is exactly what I intend to do.”
Republican voters were tasked with deciding if they wanted to keep Cawthorn around despite multiple scandals, including his unsubstantiated claims that some of his GOP colleagues on Capitol Hill invited him to sex parties and used cocaine.
He later told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., that his remarks were exaggerations, but the incident caused some in the party to look to Edwards as a possible replacement.
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who backed Edwards in March, said Cawthorn had “fallen well short of the most basic standard western North Carolina expects from their representatives.”
Other controversies surrounding Cawthorn include allegations of insider trading, trying to bring a loaded gun through airport security and his description of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a “thug.”
Still, Cawthorn had former President Donald Trump on his side heading into Tuesday’s contest, but it doesn’t appear to have been enough to sway enough voters. Trump said Monday that Cawthorn should be given a “second chance” after making some “foolish mistakes.”
May 17, 10:33 pm
Shapiro blasts Mastriano’s stance on abortion, support of Trump’s ‘big lie’
Josh Shapiro, who is quarantining with COVID Tuesday and running unopposed for the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania governor, put out a statement about his general-election opponent, Trump-backed Doug Mastriano, now that Mastriano is projected to win.
Shapiro slams Mariano’s stance on abortion rights and election conspiracies, saying in a statement that “Pennsylvanians need a Governor who can meet this moment, but Republicans just nominated a dangerous extremist who wants to take away our freedoms. The contrast in this election could not be clearer – Doug Mastriano wants to ban abortion without exceptions, restrict the right to vote and spread conspiracy theories, and destroy the union way of life for hard working Pennsylvanians.”
Mastriano participated in the Jan. 6 rally before the march to the Capitol, organized buses to the rally and was caught on camera walking past barricades at the Capitol ahead of the deadly attack. He has denied participating in any violence.
Republicans in the state were worried about Mastriano getting the nomination, while Democrats were vying for that outcome, hoping Shapiro can appeal to more voters in a general election. The race takes on additional significance because the winner appoints the secretary of state, the officer who will oversee elections in the battleground state.
May 17, 10:15 pm
Chris Deluzio projected to win primary for Rep. Conor Lamb’s seat
ABC News projects that Chris Deluzio will win the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District.
Deluzio is a veteran and voting rights attorney and beat out LGBTQ rights advocate Sean Meloy for the Democratic nomination in the seat currently held by a Democrat. The district Deluzio ran in is being vacated by Rep. Conor Lamb, who ran for Senate in the state but fell short to Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in the Democratic primary earlier Tuesday night.
May 17, 9:56 pm
Mastriano projected to win GOP gubernatorial primary in Pennsylvania
In the Pennsylvania gubernatorial Republican primary, ABC News projects state Sen. Doug Mastriano will win, beating out his closest primary rival, former Rep. Lou Barletta.
Mastriano, a retired Army colonel and long proponent of “the big lie,” gained former President Donald Trump’s endorsement only three days ago. Mastriano attended Trump’s Jan. 6 rally in Washington and falsely claimed in December 2020 that “cheating and fraud happened in our state.” As a state senator, he also attempted to launch a forensic “audit” of the state’s election results, similar to the partisan inquisition that took place in Arizona. It failed to find any evidence of widespread fraud.
The race is especially significant since the governor of Pennsylvania gets to name the secretary of state — the state’s chief election official, charged with overseeing elections.
The House Jan. 6 committee has subpoenaed Mastriano, given that he was in communication with Trump on Jan. 6, but neither he nor the committee has confirmed whether he complied with the order.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro, running unopposed for the Democratic nomination for governor, has called Mastriano “the most extreme and dangerous GOP candidate.” The two will face off in November.
May 17, 9:50 pm
Fetterman’s wife thanks supporters, calls out two key campaign promises
Gisele Fetterman, wife of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, spoke to supporters at an election night party in Pittsburgh following her husband’s projection to win the Democratic primary for Senate as he recovers from a stroke in the hospital.
She opened by “addressing the elephant in the room,” which is that “my husband John Fetterman is not in the room,” and said Fetterman would be “back on his feet in no time.”
“This race we’re running is a race for the future,” she said to a warm audience. “It’s a race for every job that has been lost, every factory that has been closed, every cost that has been rising, every worker that can’t keep up. It’s a race for a better Pennsylvania.”
She also mentioned two issues her husband raises at almost every stop: a commitment to legalizing marijuana and to eliminating the Senate filibuster.
May 17, 9:42 pm
Biden celebrates Fetterman’s projected win
President Joe Biden didn’t endorse in the race, but the son of Pennsylvania celebrated John Fetterman’s win in the state’s Senate Democratic primary on Tuesday.
“John Fetterman understands that working class families in Pennsylvania and across the country have been dealt out for far too long. It’s time to deal them back in, and electing John to the United States Senate would be a big step forward for Pennsylvania’s working people,” the president wrote.
May 17, 9:36 pm
Foushee wins North Carolina primary in setback for progressives
In North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District, ABC News projects state Sen. Valerie Foushee will win the House Democratic primary.
Foushee defeated eight other candidates vying for the nomination, including American Idol star Clay Aiken. Aiken launched his bid in January, citing white supremacy and racism as reasons for his second congressional bid.
She also defeated Nida Allam, a 28-year-old county official who is Muslim and who got wide support from the Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren wing of the party. Sanders on Tuesday called out national groups who spent a large amount of money trying to sink Allam’s candidacy.
The safely Democratic district has been held by Rep. David Price for nearly 35 years. Price announced in October 2021 that he is retiring at the end of this term.
May 17, 9:15 pm
Fetterman thanks supporters in a tweet
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, recovering in the hospital from a stroke and primary day surgery, tweeted a thank you to supporters Tuesday night after he was projected to win the Senate Democratic primary in Pennsylvania.
“The fate of our Democratic majority all comes down to Pennsylvania,” tweeted.
The front-runner candidate who supports progressive policies but refuses the progressive label, Fetterman defeated Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb, considered an establishment candidate, and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, a progressive representing Philadelphia, in the primary race.
Fetterman voted from his hospital earlier Tuesday via an emergency absentee ballot. His wife, Gisele, is slated to speak later at his campaign party.
May 17, 9:03 pm
Fetterman projected to win Pennsylvania primary after suffering stroke
ABC News projects Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will win the Senate Democratic primary in Pennsylvania — after a stroke just five days ago took him off the campaign trail.
Fetterman, the lieutenant governor since 2019, who led in the polls for the Democratic nomination, beat out Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta. Fetterman and Kenyatta both staked out progressive positions on policy, while current Lamb is considered more centrist.
Fetterman will not be present at his campaign party Tuesday while he recovers in the hospital, but his wife, Gisele, will speak instead.
Earlier Tuesday, Fetterman underwent a “successful procedure,” his campaign said, to get a pacemaker and defibrillator, after suffering a stroke late last week. He also voted via an emergency absentee ballot from his hospital.
Fetterman doesn’t fit the mold for what a typical senator looks like: Standing 6-foot-8, he is bald, goateed and tattooed and frequently eschews traditional suits and ties in favor of shorts and Dickies shirts. He earned his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University but has campaigned with a blue-collar approach, having served as the mayor of the small borough of Braddock, just outside Pittsburgh, for 16 years before being elected alongside Gov. Tom Wolf, a fellow Democrat, four years ago.
The general election in Pennsylvania later this year could help decide the balance of power in Congress. Democrats see the Keystone State as their best shot to pick up a seat from retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
Fetterman will face either Trump-backed Dr. Mehmet Oz, businessman David McCormick or right-wing fringe candidate Kathy Barnette.
May 17, 8:53 pm
‘The big lie’ candidates in big races Tuesday
Often when checking for candidates who endorse Trump’s “big lie” — his baseless claim that the 2020 election was fraudulent — they wind up being fringe candidates or trailing in their races. But that’s less so the case Tuesday night, where multiple candidates who support ‘the big lie” are competitive, or even the front-runners in some of tonight’s biggest races.
Take Pennsylvania, where Doug Mastriano, a retired Army colonel who marched with Trump supporters on Jan. 6, is the front-runner in the Republican primary for governor. He’s been a proponent of “the big lie” from the start, claiming in December 2020 that “cheating and fraud happened in our state.” As a state senator, he also attempted to launch a forensic “audit” of the state’s election results, similar to the partisan inquisition that took place in Arizona. (It failed to find any evidence of widespread fraud.) He recently gained Trump’s endorsement.
“The big lie” has cast a shadow over another hot race: the GOP primary for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat. All three front-runners have offered mixed responses regarding whether they endorse the idea that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.
FiveThirtyEight’s Kaleigh Rogers is tracking all of these races and others where “the big lie” believers are on the ticket here.
May 17, 8:31 pm
More voting trouble in Pennsylvania
After news surfaced of voting issues in Lancaster County, it became clear that Berks County is also dealing with minor issues but will be able to keep its polling places open an extra hour.
The Reading Eagle, a local news outlet, reported that polling places in Berks County were having issues with new electronic poll books, forcing a return to paper. Attorneys for both Democratic and Republican county parties successfully filed emergency petitions to keep the polls open past the regular 8 p.m. closing time.
May 17, 8:11 pm
Trump-endorsed Rep. Ted Budd to face Beasley in North Carolina Senate race
ABC News has projected Rep. Ted Budd will win the North Carolina GOP Senate primary, setting him up to run against North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley, the projected Democratic nominee, in November.
There were over 10 candidates in the GOP race — but Budd, carrying the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, came out victorious and led the pack heading into the primary after lagging in the polls and in fundraising early on. Other candidates included former Gov. Pat McCrory, who had a record of running statewide, and former Rep. Mark Walker, a Trump loyalist who stayed in the race even though he faded down the stretch.
Budd voted against the certification of election results after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, though he has acknowledged Joe Biden’s legitimacy as president.
Democrats are hoping to pick up the seat from retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr — but it’s an uphill battle as the seat leans red.
May 17, 8:00 pm
Pennsylvania polls close
Polls are now closed in Pennsylvania, which is home to one of the most competitive primaries of the night featuring celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Oz shook up the Republican primary for Senate after launching his campaign late last year, winning former President Donald Trump’s endorsement over businessman David McCormick. But it’s been another candidate, conservative commentator Kathy Barnette, making headlines in the final weeks of the race as she experiences a sudden surge.
Trump said of Barnette last week that she will “never be able to win the general election against the radical left Democrats.” Her momentum in the polls has jeopardized his second attempt to influence the race — he endorsed Oz after Sean Parnell, his initial pick, dropped out of the race.
Leading candidates for the Democratic nomination include Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.
Another race to watch will be the gubernatorial primary. Attorney General Josh Shapiro is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination to take over for term-limited Gov. Tom Wolf, while several Republicans are looking for the opportunity to flip control of the governor’s mansion.
May 17, 7:51 pm
Cheri Beasley projected to win in North Carolina Dem Senate primary
In the North Carolina Democratic Senate Primary, ABC News projects that former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley will win.
North Carolina presents a key opportunity for Democrats to possibly pick up another seat in the chamber as Republican Sen. Richard Burr retires this year.
Beasley was seen as the presumptive front-runner for the Democratic nomination.
On the Republican side, incumbent Rep. Ted Budd, carrying former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, is hoping to beat two standouts in the GOP field: Former Rep. Mark Walker and former Gov. Pat McCrory. Tuesday presents a telling test of Trump’s endorsement power across state lines, as he also aims for Dr. Mehmet Oz to win the Republican primary race for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat.
May 17, 7:32 pm
Polls close in North Carolina
Polls have officially closed in North Carolina, where voters are picking their party’s nominees for the Senate and House elections.
The battleground state presents a key opportunity for Democrats to possibly pick up another seat in the chamber as Republican Sen. Richard Burr retires this year. Former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley is seen as the presumptive frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, while there are three standouts in the Republican field: Rep. Ted Budd, former Rep. Mark Walker and former Gov. Pat McCrory. Budd was endorsed by Trump earlier this year.
Another test of Trump’s influence will be in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District and 13th Congressional District, where he’s backed two 26-year-olds: Rep. Madison Cawthorn, widely known across the country for his scandals and irreverent attitude, and Bo Hines, a former college football star with little name recognition running in a district he doesn’t live in.
Candidates will need to receive more than 30% of the vote to become the party’s nominee or face a runoff election on July 26.
May 17, 7:21 pm
Pennsylvania county reports voting issue
The Lancaster County Board of Elections on Tuesday reported issues with its mail-in ballots, stating that a mistake by a vendor left it unable to scan thousands of ballots because it printed them with the wrong identification codes.
County officials called the error “unacceptable.”
“About 22,000 mail ballots were printed by the print vendor with the incorrect code and could not be read by the county’s scanners,” the secretary of state’s office told ABC News. “County election officials will re-mark the ballots by hand and then scan them. This is allowed under [Pennsylvania] law. It is likely to take county officials a few days.”
It’s unclear how the glitch will impact the election. Polls close at 8 p.m. ET in the state, where voters are choosing their party’s nominees for Senate and governor.
May 17, 7:13 pm
Sens. Rand Paul, Charles Booker projected to win respective Kentucky primaries
The first poll closure of the night comes in Kentucky, where Republican Sen. Rand Paul is seeking a third term and ABC News projected he will win the GOP primary.
Paul has garnered national recognition for his libertarian-leaning views and recently made headlines for single-handedly delaying a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, which ultimately passed with bipartisan support. Five other Republicans had challenged Paul in the primary race, though he was expected to easily clinch the nomination and win the general election in November.
On the Democratic side, ABC News projected Sen. Charles Booker would win the Senate primary. Booker rose to prominence in the 2020 election cycle when he nearly upset a well-funded, establishment-backed Democratic rival in a Senate primary to challenge Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
May 17, 6:58 pm
Fetterman’s primary day surgery ‘successful’: Campaign
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the front-runner in the state’s Democratic Senate primary race, has completed a “successful procedure” to recieve a pacemaker and defibrillator, his campaign said Tuesday, after he suffered a stroke late last week.
“John Fetterman just completed a successful procedure to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator. The procedure began at 3:15pm, John was released at 5:56pm, and he has been given the all-clear that it was successful. He is resting at the hospital and recovering well. John continues to improve every day, and he is still on track for a full recovery,” the campaign said in a statement.
Dr. Jay Bhatt, an internal medicine physician, instructor at the University of Illinois School of Public Health and ABC News Contributor, said the procedure to implant a defibrillator and pacemaker are “common but carry risks of infection, bleeding, and complications and inappropriate shocks from the defibrillator.”
A day after Fetterman announced his stroke, his team said that he would not be attending his election night party and would remain in the hospital. His wife, Gisele, will speak in his place. His campaign released a photo Tuesday morning of Fetterman voting with an emergency absentee ballot from the hospital, where he is recovering.
May 17, 5:41 pm
Democratic House primaries could foreshadow party’s direction
While much of the focus this midterm cycle has been on statewide races and the momentum behind Republicans amid dismal approval numbers for President Joe Biden, several Democratic House primaries could be emblematic of the direction of the party ahead of November.
In these contentious primary races in North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania, voters will choose between progressive and more moderate candidates. These races have drawn the attention of progressive heavyweights, including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Click here to read what you need to know about key Democratic House primary races, which include incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader in Oregon gaining Biden’s endorsement, and in North Carolina, Clay Aiken of “American Idol” fame taking another shot at Congress.
-ABC News Deputy Political Director Averi Harper
May 17, 5:38 pm
Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb says primary will offer ‘lessons’ for Dems
With primary day underway in some of the hottest races of the year, Rep. Conor Lamb, a moderate two-term Democrat vying for the U.S. Senate nomination in Pennsylvania, told ABC News’ Senior Washington Reporter Devin Dwyer that results in the state Tuesday could be a key bellwether for the future direction of the party and control of the Senate.
“I think the Democratic Party is going to have to, you know, think really hard about how we’re going to succeed and what is a very, very challenging political environment — and today is going to have some lessons,” Lamb said outside a polling place in his district.
Lamb, who has been trailing progressive Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in recent polls, acknowledged that Democrats face a choice between “two very different paths based on two different sets of experience and two different personalities,” as many in the party view the race as their best shot at flipping a Senate seat.
Asked by ABC News whether he thinks Fetterman’s hospitalization for a stroke will have any impact on the race, Lamb said “I don’t know” and then offered what seemed to be criticism of his rival for “very little information about it [his condition] much like the rest of the general public.”
“I wish him well, but I really can’t forecast that and people are just got to make up their own minds,” he said.
May 17, 5:35 pm
Top Dem candidates face health issues on primary day
Two top Democrats in midterm races in Pennsylvania are facing health issues on primary day, causing them both to miss their election night events. One is isolated with COVID and another was in the hospital Tuesday undergoing surgery after a stroke.
Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary race for governor, announced this morning on Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19 Monday night. He said he’s isolated at home with “mild symptoms” and will be back on the campaign trail next week.
Shapiro also shared on Tuesday afternoon that he voted using an emergency absentee ballot, speaking in a video posted from his campaign’s Twitter account.
Meanwhile, the front-runner in the Democratic Senate primary race, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, underwent surgery on Tuesday to get a pacemaker and defibrillator after he suffered a stroke last Friday. As a result, his campaign team said he would not be able to attend his election night rally; instead, his wife, Gisele, will speak in his place.
Earlier on Tuesday, ahead of sharing the news of his surgery, Fetterman’s campaign shared a photo of him voting via an emergency absentee battle in the hospital.
May 17, 5:26 pm
Dr. Oz touts Trump endorsement, says opponent has ‘had her moment in the sun’
In a somewhat last-minute endorsement in April, former President Donald Trump threw his support behind Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary, citing the television doctor’s popularity and compliments regarding Trump’s health.
ABC News Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott was the only network reporter with Dr. Oz as he voted this morning in Pennsylvania. On his way out, Oz told Scott he’s confident he will win this evening’s primary. But a last-minute surge by conservative commentator Kathy Barnette has now shaken up the race.
When Scott asked Dr. Oz about her momentum, he said, “I think that Kathy, metaphorically, had her moment in the sun.”
“And I’m very proud of the president’s endorsement. He said I was smart-talking — never let you down, smart enough to understand the issues tough, tough enough to not weather in the face of criticism. When you go to bed at night, you know, I’ll never let you down,” he added.
“I just cast a vote for myself, which is not a humble thing to do,” Oz said. “But it’s what I’m humbly asking all Pennsylvanians to do to vote for someone that they know will win in the general election which is one of the main reasons President Trump endorsed me.”
May 17, 5:23 pm
McCormick speaks about missing out on Trump endorsement
McCormick did not get the coveted endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who threw his weight behind Dr. Mehmet Oz, so McCormick tried to balance complimenting the former president and saying Trump’s endorsement doesn’t have much impact.
“He’s very popular in Pennsylvania with good reason, in my opinion, but in terms of his endorsement — of course, his endorsement matters — but his endorsement to Mehmet Oz hasn’t had much of an impact,” McCormick said. “And the reason for that is much more about Mehmet Oz than it is about the president in that Mehmet doesn’t have a track record.”
McCormick also said the race boils down to two main issues: inflation and authenticity.
Recent polls have shown many Pennsylvania voters were still undecided leading up to primary day.
-ABC News’ Alexa Presha
May 17, 4:44 pm
Here’s what time polls close by state
Here’s what time the polls close in each state Tuesday. All times Eastern.
Kentucky: 7 p.m.
North Carolina: 7:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania: 8 p.m.
Oregon: 11 p.m. (drop boxes close)
Idaho: 11 p.m.
May 17, 4:43 pm
Tuesday’s contents test endorsement power of Biden, Trump
Tuesday’s primaries span five states, the most so far this season, and will test of the strength of endorsements from both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Biden handed out his first endorsement just a few weeks ago to Oregon incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader in a race that was low profile until the president weighed in.
Trump has interjected himself in several primary races so far, including backing Dr. Mehmet Oz for Senate in Pennsylvania and Doug Mastriano for the state’s governor.
The state is one of several battlegrounds across the country where supporters of Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election results, and Mastriano attended the rally preceding the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, as did Kathy Barnette, a dark horse ultra-conservative GOP Senate candidate.
One question that will be answered Tuesday night is if the Trump endorsement can save tainted candidates. Trump put his neck out for two 26-years-olds in North Carolina: GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn, widely known across the country for his scandals and irreverent attitude, and Bo Hines — running for Congress in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District where he doesn’t live or have wide name recognition.
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